Why Screen for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms?
This condition is mostly a problem of older men with around five per cent of men aged 65-74 having a Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), many of whom will not know they have the condition. In Scotland between 2001 and 2005, an average of 284 men, aged 65 years and older, died from AAA each year, with around 60 per cent of these deaths being preventable with ultrasound screening.
In the first year of scanning 65 year old men, between four and six lives could be saved, with this figure rising to around 170 lives or more saved each year once a point is reached when all men older than 65 years have been offered screening. This represents many more years of life added to the male Scottish population.
The Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Screening Programme
A screening programme for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) was implemented in Scotland in line with the advice from the UK National Screening Committee (NSC). The programme was first implemented in June 2012 in NHS Highland, as part of a phased implementation plan and national coverage was achieved by November 2013.
One scan only is required at age 65 which, if negative, effectively rules out the life-threatening disease for the rest of that man's life. If an aneurysm is found, regular surveillance scans should be undertaken within a screening programme to watch for enlargement and the potential need for intervention.
Who is AAA Screening for?
All men aged 65 in Scotland are invited for screening. If you are a man aged over 65, have never been for AAA screening and wish to attend you can contact your local screening centre directly for more information and to make an appointment: